A late exchange of goals saw Russia and Moldova share the points from a 1-1 European Championship qualifying draw in Moscow.
Fabio Capello's side struggled to break plucky Moldova down for over an hour, until Artem Dzjuba was handed the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute.
However, Alexandru Epureanu levelled with a header inside the next two minutes to earn Moldova a share of the spoils.
Austria's victory over Montenegro sees them take top spot from Russia, who now have five points, while Moldova's first point was not enough to lift them off the bottom of Group G.
Russia were held to a 1-1 draw in Sweden last time out and needed to make amends by putting their former neighbours Moldova to the sword at the Otkrytie Arena.
But Moldova enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, Igor Armas fizzing a free-kick over the crossbar before Sergei Parshivlyuk made a desperate block on Igor Picusciac's drive.
The hosts began to take control from the 21st minute. Denis Cheryshev drilled the ball against Victor Golovatenco and goalkeeper Ilie Cebanu soon had to punch Dzjuba's header to safety.
Cebanu was tested again when Denis Glushakov picked his spot from 20 yards out and, when the Russian midfielder came knocking again in the 35th minute, Cebanu did well to smother his shot.
Moldova produced the last solid opportunity of the half as Alexandru Gatcan connected with Arma's corner, only to ping his attempt just wide of a post.
Visiting coach Alexandru Curtianu's men pushed hard after the break with Alexandru Dedov powering a header wide of the mark before drilling the ball straight into Igor Akinfeev's gloves.
Russia fought back and, after Dzjuba missed with a header from Vladimir Granat's cross, they were awarded a penalty.
Victor Golovatenco's foul on Dzjuba in the 72nd minute allowed the Spartak Moscow player to beat Cebanu from the spot.
Two minutes later, however, Moldova equalised as Epureanu nodded Andrei Cojocari's corner into the back of the net.